Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Calema Midwinters '09

Kona Junior Class winner Mateo Vargas reports on the Midwinters:

The 2009 Calema Midwinters and Kona North Americans was a great experience. Although the wind was on the light side for the majority of the weekend, the Kona fleet still managed to get 7 good races and Formula squeezed in 3 at the very last moment.

Friday started out with no wind despite forecasts for it to be a solid 12. The lack a wind wasn't a problem though as our skateboards laid at the ready. After a couple hours of skating and beach volleyball the Kona fleet was sent out in a light ,but manageable, breeze. This being only my second Kona regatta I made a point to begin tuning and looking at other people's technique the very second I left the beach in order to have the best chance of being in the top pack. Being slightly out of the groove off the start I tacked out right where I was able to get clear air and ended up making it to the windward mark in the top of the pack. We had one more similar race before we hit the beach and ate the great food Calema Windsurfing had ready for us.

Saturday morning was a carbon copy of the previous morning. As soon as it was realized that the wind would take a few hours to fill, a paddleboard relay race was organized and put into motion. This race was easily dominated by Team USA members Jay Watermeyer, Chris Gardiner, and myself. Not wanting to sit idle for a minute, a group of us moved on to wakeboarding behind a local sailors boat until the wind filled. The races held in the afternoon on Saturday were similar to Fridays with the exception of the wind being in a little more of a left phase. This initially hindered my race results, but I adjusted my strategy for the remaining races and produced a couple alright finishes. We ended our day by skating one of the best bowls on the East Coast at Cocoa Beach Skatepark. It was a great end to an already sick day.

The final day of Midwinters was the windiest of the regatta. The high pressure that had been sitting over the area moved out overnight allowing a for a nice ESE breeze at about 12 knots. The race committee quickly fired off two races for us Konas before sending out the Formula fleet to get in the three races the desperately needed. The last two races of the regatta were my best to date. The stronger breeze and a pin favored line helped me to get ahead and hold my position, giving me a third and then bullet in the last race.

Overall Calema Midwinters was a great event. The competition was great and although the wind was light, there were plenty of other things to do. I definitely plan on going to this regatta again next year.

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